Were We EVER Ready?!

Death is the date you forget
The promise that time corrects
None can dodge their fate.

Death is the silent sniper
When ready, aim then fire
No one is exempt from this tax collector’s tally.

Death floats in on quiet wing
To ease the final moments’ sting
Into a final peaceful solitude.

Death trails fingers through rough cotton sails
Monitors and machines pump and wail
Roll call sounds through each flatline.

Live by the sword
Die by the gun
Bullets are forever.

For all the posturing and politics
The glories of dynasty
Fade into the sands of time.

No one is left behind
But everything remains, to find
A final separation of man and possession.

A final surprise
In dull empty eyes
Death will literally take your breath away…

As the dive from the beach
Robs you of your final speech
Let the waves comfort you now.

As your shallow husk
Is buried without fuss
Take your grudges with you.

Death makes even religions a liar
The final equalizer
Prince and pauper fall as one.

Chase with desperation the chalice of immortality
Ignore the human fallacy
To waste precious time in futility.

But isn’t Death just a carriage
A taxi you missed today
That may ferry you tomorrow?

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A Chaste Cuddle

“Philia (philía, Greek: φιλία) is the love between friends as close as siblings in strength and duration. The friendship is the strong bond existing between people who share common values, interests or activities.” –The Four LovesWikipedia

Boyfriends betray you, girlfriends lie;

Husbands divorce, wives cheat;

[Boyfriends lie, husbands cheat;

Girlfriends betray you, wives divorce;]

Partners leave, friends-with-benefits implode;

Keeping it casual gets complicated.

You don’t have to kiss
You don’t have to  grope
Skip the flowers, skip the wine
Skip the chocolates and obligation

You don’t even have to speak
Not a single word in exchange
Silence and empathy
Someone to hold.

You don’t have to pressurize
You don’t have to perform,
Just a hug, once or twice
Just a few moments of rapport.

You don’t have to get it up
You don’t have to go down;
Just a shoulder to cry on
Just a shoulder to lean on.

Keep your clothes on,
Keep your hands to yourself
Dim the romance, blow out the candles
Turn on the lights.

Humans have the need to connect
Brain to brain, philia love;
No “heart-strings”, no encumbrance
No romantic entanglements

You don’t have to be anything more
Than a friend of excellent quality
Nothing more, nothing less
Than your unwavering loyalty

There is no “next level”
You are on the plateau
The only question left
Is one of trust and control.

Can you be trusted
To cuddle -platonically-
Without an expectation
Or pressure for intercourse?

A friendship as strong
And unbreakable as graphene
Is hard to find -harder still
The unconditional selfless accord.

Jesus Was Out

I went to church looking for Jesus
But Judas greeted me at the door
And smiled with soft spoken words
Kisses on the cheek and handshakes of greeting.

I entered the sanctuary looking for Jesus,
But Judas sat next to me and welcomed me
With song and spoken words
While asking about my membership.

They said listen to the sermon to hear Jesus,
But Judas was veneered at the pulpit
Speaking words of condemnation and ignorance
Rattle the collection plate, drum up the tithe.

They said to speak aloud and talk to Jesus
But Judas was listening and weaving deception
Whispering words of guilt and self-deprecation
Thirty-nine lashes, thirty missing pieces.

Funny, that Jesus never appeared
But Judas showed up to hand out ropes
When they nominated my lynching
And cast stones at my soul.

Like all realities, the books are best
Mercy and love waxing eloquent on less than half the pages
Sorely lacking in stark application
A disproportionate outcome in action.

They said you have a savior in Jesus
But it was Judas knocking on my door
To point out my follies and hem me with hell
The terrified are the easiest to con.

Judas hugged and embraced me
Wondered when I’d return
But the game was exposed
When he hungrily eyed my purse.

How difficult it is to find salvation
And appease one’s immortal soul
When every church, mosque, synagogue, and holy place
Hordes a Judas within its walls.

I don’t trust anyone with matters of eternal life
If they insist on holding my coin hostage
For with finances, guilt, and atonement
Money tends to be the superior currency.

They sent me to church to find Jesus,
But met Judas at the front door
Where he was shaking hands and kissing cheeks
And greeting with fervor.

I went to meetings, looking for Jesus
But found Judas at the head
Guiding the ministry in one hand
And pocketing funds with the other.

I went to the pastor’s office looking for Jesus
And found Judas on his hands and knees
Prying open the safe, frothing with rage
When faced with the Bibles within.

I went to the congregation to look for Jesus
But Judas was waiting with empty hands
An oily smile and a sharp eye
To mark my remaining coins.

And when the doors shut and the services ended
When the fellowship had long expired
I sat on the steps and pondered this curiosity-
For “Jesus” had never appeared.

Coffee #28: July 4th

“July 4 is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 180 days remaining until the end of the year. This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday (58 in 400 years each) than on Thursday or Friday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Tuesday or Sunday (56). The Aphelion, the point in the year when the Earth is farthest from the Sun, occurs around this date.”

~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_4

The most popular rendition of July 4th is the American celebrations that have taken place since their Independence from Britain during the 1776 end of the Revolutionary War. Nowadays, if you travel around the world, many of USA’s allies also engage in similar festivities and celebrations from China to Europe.

Google will delight in reminding you of the three USA presidents who died on July 4th: Thomas Jefferson (July 4, 1826), John Adams (July 4, 1826), and James Monroe (1831). And don’t forget the president born on July 4th, 1872 – Calvin Coolidge.

On July 4th, the Philippines also celebrate their own unique independence from the USA during their Republic Day. Fun fact: the USA owned the islands -after Spain sold the islands in 1898- till 1946. This celebration date was later changed to July 12th to reflect an earlier declaration of independence of the Philippines while under the rule of Spain.

Rwanda also celebrates Liberation Day which commemorates the end of the Rwandan genocide on July 4, 1994, thanks to the USA’s support and aid.

If all the countries of the world could view the USA during the celebration, I wonder what they would make of the inordinate food consumption, merrymaking, and strange customs.

There are 180 days left in the year

That’s all I’m thinking about.

So much to do, so little time. Is there enough to make a difference? How much will you achieve in 180 days?

Is it enough time to start afresh and make changes to the benefit of yourself and others?

Governments would argue that it’s possible. A little less than 6 months can easily roll back legislations, pass laws, enact policies, and erect statutes.

Armies would argue that it’s possible. Countries can be invaded in less time, wars have been won within months.

Science can make large strides by that time. A cumulation of life knowledge moved forward on the shoulders of generations of information gathered throughout the years.

Ocean levels can rise in less time, tens of hurricanes will whip by, weather patterns can lay waste to the world within days. Natural disasters can occur within seconds. Seconds.

Migrations take only days to complete, dependent on numbers and distance. Thousands on the planet will die and thousands more will be born. New diseases and old diseases will have their time on the stage of life.

New movies, new shows, new media and more art and marketing will fill the world and flood the senses.

More endangered animals will die. More will become extinct.

Sadly, hardly any of this will be acknowledged. Social media will drag us back into the embedded sensationalism and rhetoric that we’ve engaged in since… forever.

Will that change? Maybe.

Will that change in 180 days? I doubt it.

Can people change in 180 days? It’s possible but unlikely.

Can we make this world a better place in 180 days?

I don’t know. Does anyone even care?

The minority. No.

How do you know?

Review the 186 days that have come before.

But the world isn’t just defined by the circumference of the earth. The world is defined by what happens in your corner of life, your sliver of the community every day.

Make something good within the next 180, huh?

Maybe it will ripple out and add some drops of positivity to the planet.

Zis Regret: Her Final Valentine

Ze wishes to go back in time
And never meet her
Knowing now, the end
Ze wished it had never even begun.

But youth is foolish
The summer air fills with potential
A world of happiness trapped
In her smile.

Like any smile, hers hides a world of pain
Zis laugh smothers discontent
But both find pleasure in the moment
Of meeting.

If only ze
Had stuck to zis instincts
Ze could have avoided
So much anguish.

They duct taped a world
And made it their own
Exacerbating each other
Painful hindsight.

Ze wonders if ze had
Been too vulnerable
Perhaps, ze should not have been so honest
Should have kept zis heart locked away.

Because she hurt zim so much more
Than all the others who’d gone before
Not just because of timing
But because ze had trusted her.

Ze wanted to be vulnerable
With her, test the waters
After prior hurts, ze
Let her in.

Ze can’t do this anymore
Can’t deal with friends who hurt
And carve up zis soul
Grafitti zis skin with scars.

Ze has no more tolerance
The pain drowns zim
Ze’d rather erase all their days
Never meet her again.

Ze’d rather she just tell him straight
That she hates zim, wants nothing to do with zim
That she’d explain why
She hurt zim this way.

Ze doesn’t need to be hurt again
Ze hurts zimself enough
Others have hurt zim before
She doesn’t need to hurt zim again.

Why did she pretend to love zim?
Ze’d rather stay alone
Than be tricked into thinking that someone
Wanted to be zis friend.

And what did ze ever do to her?
To make her turn against zim
Ze doesn’t know, and perhaps it’s
Better that way.

But ze’s done writing messages
To never hear reply
Ze’s done wondering what ze did
To be driven into exile.

Ze doesn’t want to hear her name
Never again will ze
Even worry for a moment that she’s okay
Because ze needs to be selfish, else ze will die.

And, yes, perhaps it has nothing to do with zim
The silence could be purely coincidental
But when she ghosted zim from her life
It went beyond apathy to pure indifference.

And ze’s tired of feeling that pain
Tired of bleeding out on the balcony
Waiting for her to find zim worthy
To reenter her good graces.

What had ze done?
What had ze done to result in this?
All ze knows is that the rift isn’t zis
And that ze needs to let go – once and for all.

And so, ze stumbles away
Binding wounds that bleed to this day
Someday, ze will regain zis trust
But definitely not today.

Perhaps ze will finally
Find someone who actually cares
Will love zim, and will not
Cut zim up again.

But the world is meant to hurt
Ze accepts that ze will always be carved
By those who pretend to love
Hopefully next time, ze will see it coming.

Blinded by love
Ze never saw her
Blade sinking into
Zis heart.

Archways

This allegory
Is a heterosexual story
But can be applied
To any relationship in mind.

He felt lust
A status, not trust
Her thighs were the gateway
All he knew was hurry

She wanted a toy
Disguised within a ploy
Of attraction and need
She must sample and feed.

He wanted to break the rules
Be the bad one at schools
Lure the ripe peaches
With honeyed tempting speeches.

She wanted to be grown
Leaving the parents at home
Hopped that crotch rocket
To hell, or the next sunset.

He needed to show and put out
A big boy now, he shouts
Bitch I’m a man
This is all my master plan.

She needed to feel whole
Add more boys to her role
And she passed right through them
Like a pig trampling gems

He needed tactile notches
To feel clever like foxes
Because he doesn’t know himself
He’ll grab any trophy from the shelf

She lines up to the left
And struts right through his heft
He’s just another passage
Rights of a greedy savage

He struts to the right
And thrusts through her light
She’s just another cave
Selfishly, a method to self-save

And so, they march through each other
Blindly mislabeling themselves a lover
They dynamite past with bludgeoning force
Trample each other like the stampeding horse.

Then wonder at the wreckage they left behind
Gaping at wounds inflicted in kind
Never realizing that their fancies of love
A mere battlefield, both guilty of the fatal shove.

He was never the goal point
She was never the venture joint
Just doors standing in the way
A passage to pass the day.

An archway crumbles without a keystone
Relationships wither without water sown
A sanctuary of entitlement
Is no home of enlightenment.

Know thyself then find a lover?
Just use them to hide and cover!
They don’t know any better anyway
Love drunk works the same every day

 

Photo Credit: Massa

Don’t Say A Word

The water rises, the levees go down
Houses disappear without a sound
A waving hand sinks beneath the waves–
Shhh… don’t say anything.

A bullied child runs home in tears
To a home where none will hear his fears
The rope swings in the rafters–
Shhh… don’t say anything.

An angry mob screams retribution and hate
Destroying another innocent’s fate
Blood stains the dusty streets–
Shhh… don’t say anything.

Vitriol and fury runs down the page
Fuck you!!! cries the internet sage
A nation drowns beneath the weight–
Shhh… don’t say anything.

A church shout their hallelujahs
A congregation filled with barracudas
Hypocrisy vibrant on every face–
Shh… don’t say anything.

A holy man steals a precious soul
A priest shatters what should be whole
Lust, greed, and envy run amuck–
Shh… don’t say anything.

Whip the populous into a froth
Direct the orchestra as the conductor taught
Distract perspective and reality–
Shh… don’t say anything.

Another bullet loads into a gun
Another world comes undone
A deluded last stand–
Shh… don’t tell anyone.

Easily amused, so easily confused
Dance along to this terrible ruse
As another thousand succumb to the sword–
Shh… don’t tell anyone.

And while most still cling to thoughts of a messiah
Still more seize justification for warfare and pariah
Another fool succumbs to manipulation–
Shh… don’t tell anyone.

Even children are polluted
Their innocence convoluted
Worse still, in wars they are recruited–
Shh… don’t tell anyone.

If a tree falls, no one will here it
Not unless it cuts out the Ethernet
Let’s get real, nobody cares–
Shh… don’t say anything.

Nothing more than eminent destruction
Apocalypse remains the final construction
Last one standing gains all the wealth–
Shh… don’t tell anyone.

Tick tock, time to expire
Just wait until it all catches fire
By the way, the earth was never not burning–
Shh… your words don’t mean a thing.
So don’t tell anyone.

While There is Life, There are… Inconveniences

Throughout my formative years, being the smart one meant that no one would mess with me -that much. They’d be more likely to ask for my help than bully me -I guess you could say I bartered my brain to avoid all that.

But once I graduated and started working, I began to understand how different that environment was versus the educational environment. In school, the goal is to get good grades, which depend on you (mostly) and sometimes a team. In work, the goal is to complete tasks and projects, which depend on yourself, your team and your supervisor.

The first year was great, I was knocking out my work at a wicked pace. But I later realized that this only inspired insecurity and jealousies that quickly manifested in numerous ways -which I will not discuss here.

Needless to say, the situation rapidly tanked. To summarize, it was like living in enemy territory while walking through a minefield every day: everything is a trap, everyone is against you, and everywhere is unsafe. You either crumble under the pressure, or you don’t. And then you’d also have to decide how you will behave under those circumstances.

On the other hand, you really get to see the type of person you really are.

Granted, in the large scale of things, this experience was nothing; but, in the myopia of my life, it was rather significant. Stress, anger, and navigating office politics were a knife’s edge tightrope where balancing expectations came second to managing oneself and choosing your battles -you always have to stay true to yourself while maintaining dignity, self-advocation, and grace under fire. After exiting the crucible, I realized that I had passed through the stages of:

  1. Denial – “Surely this isn’t happening.”
  2. Anger – “How dare this fucking happen to me!”
  3. Acceptance – “Fine, this is happening then?”
  4. Cynicism – “Of course this is happening, what did I expect?”
  5. Pity – “I find it utterly pathetic that you need this to happen.”

I’ll tell you this, I have grown a great deal both in mental fortitude and in standing up for myself while remaining respectful and supportive regardless of the situation.

The following quotes stuck with me throughout this time.

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We cannot control the wind, but we can adjust the sails (1).png

In the word revenge, hides the word never. REVENGE | EGNEVER.

I’m not interested in revenge but the anger remains a fizzling ember of thought which, thankfully, fades day by day.

I calmly breathe away moments of vengeful thoughts by placing these perspectives in place.

1) Time has passed, let it go.
2) It’s not worth the hassle.
3) They will destroy themselves -all by themselves- with no need of assistance from you.

Revenge can be a trap, a whirlpool of toxic thoughts and anger. But revenge should not be used for petty slights, no matter how badly you or I might want to punish the offender(s). It is a costly business that will often take away more from the avenger than the offender.

And so I close this chapter of my life, snuff out the anger, take cleansing breaths and continue to live a fulfilling life. Because this is ultimately the greatest revenge.

“I am a stone, unaffected
Rain hell down onto me
I am a stone, unaffected
Your fool I will not be.”

~I Am A Stone by Demon Hunter

Smokey Eyes

She spoke with the scent of fire
A fine spectacle of brimstone and fury
Like a dragon of flame, the rippling tide
Of liquid gold both repels and attracts;
She is still so lovely, I adore her regardless
I scraped the dirt from my knees.

I listened to the sentences and dissected the words
But all my concentration was snagged
On the smoke-tinged solitude
And the lingering sadness.

In all those moments
When we both speak
But cannot hear or listen or resonate
Like ships in the night slipping from shore
The smoke signals fade away
We hit the icebergs; we’re going down

Ah, I shudder in the flame of her incantation
Somehow even more furious
Somehow more attractive
Even if it was just a moment of anger infused lust

They warned she’d only bring me sorrow
But I store my tears for tomorrow.
Bathed in the flame of her desire
How can I stay away?
Beguiling kohl-rimmed eyes
Dripping gray tears -wet the palate

And when the flames cool and the fire dies
The volcano crisped to ash
She handed me divorce papers
Charcoal and third-degree burns

She spoke with the scent of fire
A fine spectacle of brimstone and fury
Like a dragon of flame, the rippling tide
Of liquid gold, both bevels and attracts.